In the last year I've learned more about internet marketing and running online businesses than ever before. In 2012 I had a goal to continue to build ThinkEntrepreneurship.com and to help and inspire other entrepreneurs. So far, I'd say I've reached out to many people and have hopefully made a difference in their lives. However, I am always trying to find ways to improve and be of greater value to my readers.Pete Sveen with Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

Pete Sveen with Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

On January 6th of 2013 I took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet and learn from the top bloggers, internet marketers, and online experts from around the world. The New Media Expo is the World's largest conference and trade show for bloggers, podcasters, web tv / video creators, and social business pros. I had never been to a New Media Expo Conference before and had no idea what to expect. (If you missed out this year you can actually still get a virtual pass on their website to watch all of this year's presentations.) In this article I'll tell you about the conference, what I learned, and how it can be applied to your business and blog.

What I Learned at the Conference

1. Content is King

In order to be successful online and in blogging you must create epic content. If you are a blogger, this means writing posts and information that are extremely valuable to the reader. Put time into creating content that will help others and make a difference. It's not enough to create good content. Create mind blowing content that is helpful and that people will want to share.

2. Transparency

Be yourself and let people know who you are and what you stand for. Don't pretend to try and be somebody you're not. Write with your own voice and let your readers get to know you. – Want to know more about myself and ThinkEntrepreneurship? Click here!

3. It Doesn't Have to be Perfect, just GET STUFF DONE and GET IT OUT THERE!

Oftentimes we work hard on projects and procrastinate to release them because we think they have to be perfect. Instead of waiting and putting off the release of your next podcast, video, or article simply do your best and get it out to the world. Getting a product or service out (short of perfect) is great and will allow you time for feedback to continue to improve upon.

4. Hire a Virtual Assistant

How to Find a Virtual Assistant

New World Media Expo 2013 – Pete Sveen with Chris Ducker (CEO of VirtualStaffFinder.com)

As an entrepreneur time is one of our biggest assets. When growing any business, you must learn to let go of the reigns and to hire employees or VA's. At the conference I met Chris Ducker, an entrepreneur who uses multiple Virtual Assistants and helps entrepreneurs get set up with their own VA's. Virtual assistants will help you become more effective by offering a phone answering service and this will enable you to focus on the bigger picture of the businesses operations. VA's can take care of website updates, social media management, powerpoint creation, and so on. To learn more about VA's check out Chris Duckers site by clicking here. You can also check out sites like Odesk and Elance.

5. Start a Podcast

Podcasting is starting to blow up and for good reason, people love to learn! Podcasts allow multi-taskers to learn while driving to work, exercising, walking the dog, or on the airplane. All you have to do is head over to iTunes and you'll find hundreds of thousands of podcasts to listen to. I listen to podcasts all the time about business, internet marketing, sports, and news. Here is a list of a few of my favorite Free podcasts for business owners and bloggers.

At the conference I met and learned from podcasting experts like Cliff Ravenscraft from PodcastAnswerman.com and Leslie Samuel of BecomingaBlogger.com. Here is the basic equipment they recommend using.

Microphone: Get a good quality Dynamic Microphone – Heil PR 40 ( Top of the Line), Digital Recorder – Roland R-05 Mixer – Peavy 6 Channel Mixer

6. Build Your Email Newsletter List Right Away!

Fellow e-commerce store owners and bloggers all believe in the importance of an email newsletter. A newsletter is an amazing sales tool as well as a way to build your relationship with readers or customers. Most of the top bloggers seem to prefer the Aweber newsletter software. I use Aweber because I love the autoresponder features and how easy it is to send out professional looking emails. It takes time to build a list, but the sooner you get started, the more loyal customers you'll have.

7. Network with Others in Your Niche and Work Together. Don't Become Enemies!

Find other entrepreneurs in your niche and reach out to them. You'll find that collaborating on projects and ideas is a win-win for each of your businesses. A while back I wrote an article about Working Together to Improve your Business's Bottom Line with more key points on the benefits of creating relationships with others in your industry. Feel free to check it out.

8. Give and you Shall Receive

You should be in business to help others and to make money. In blogging especially, it is important to provide lots of content and information to your readers at no cost. Providing epic content and information will help you build trust with the your community. Once a relationship is built, readers will be happy to buy products and services from you. If they have benefitted from your blog, there is a good chance they will feel the need to say thanks and help you out as well. (By purchasing your products or using your affiliate links).

9. Guest Posting

Guest posting is an amazing way to get get exposure for your business. Take the time to do a few guest posts for your business on other prominent sites each month. On the same token, accept guest posts from others in your niche who have amazing content to share. Be selective and don't accept all guest posts. You must make sure they are relevant and truly helpful for your audience.

10. Set a Schedule for Yourself

A benefit of being an entrepreneur is the ability to set your own schedule. Yet, many of us don't have a set schedule and often don't stop working. Myself included. My business seems to always be on my brain, and I think we need to take a break from it at times. We also need to make sure we spend valuable time with family and friends. So, set your work hours ( say 8 to 5 ) and take time to enjoy other things in life during your “off” time.

10. HAVE FUN

Being an entrepreneur is about doing what you are interested in and passionate about. You will work harder and longer hours than you ever would working from 9 to 5. But, if you truly enjoy your business, it won't be work at all. Have fun, work hard, and good things will happen.

Please comment below if you attended the conference or want to know more about it. I would highly recommend going to next years event and I'd love to see you there. Cheers!

Pete is the owner of www.signsofthemountains.com, an avid fly fisherman, kayaker, private pilot, chainsaw carver, and skier.

For a list of tools to see how I've built my online business check out my resources page.
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Shout Outs!

I met incredible entrepreneurs and speakers at the New Media Expo Conference. These are people I personally got to meet and am looking forward to collaborating and working with.

Rick Calvert – CEO and Co-Founder of New Media Expo
www.nmxlive.com

Roderick Russell – Sword Swallower -(now that's one of the coolest professions I've ever heard of…)
www.remarkablyhuman.com

Caleb Wojcik – Financial Blogger and Online Business Coach
www.pocketchanged.com and www.thinktraffic.com

Amy Clover – Fitness Guru and Lifestyle Blogger
www.stronginsideout.com

John Hall – Co-Founder and CEO of DTA – Member of Young Entrepreneur Council
www.digitaltalentagents.com

John Dumas – Entrepreneur On Fire Podcaster
www.entrepreneuronfire.com

Jaime Tardy – Blogger and Podcaster
www.eventualmillionaire.com

Cliff Ravenscraft
www.podcastanswerman.com

Andy Drish – The Foundation with Dane Maxwell
www.thefoundation.com

Leslie Samuel – Biology Blogger
http://www.interactive-biology.com/

Pat Flynn – Internet Business Blogger
www.smartpassiveincome.com

Antonio Centeno – Men's Style Expert
www.realmenrealstyle.com

John Corcoran – Attorney and Small Business Blogger
www.smartbusinessrevolution.com

Hilary St Jonn – SEO and Internet Marketing Guru
www.digestonlinemarketing.com

Todd Tresidder – Financial Guru and Blogger
www.financialmentor.com

Chris Deals – Business Blogger
http://www.dayjobknockout.com

Meron Bareket – Inspiring Innovation Magazine
www.inmag.com/mag

Rene Frederiksen – Blogger and Road Trip Correspondent – Based in Denmark
www.renefrederiksen.dk

Kurt Shuster – CEO and Founder of Noomi.com
www.noomii.com

Jason Williams – Travel Expert
www.jacksonholewildlifesafaris.com

Tyson Verstratete, Roman Weishaupl, Bianca Loew – Founders of Twyxt
www.twyxt.us